Review: The Essence (The Pledge #2) by Kimberly Derting

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published: January 1st 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry



At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within



The Essence is every bit as good as The Pledge, if not better. This sequel focuses more on Charlie, or Queen Charlaina as she now is, and her role as ruler of a kingdom. We get inside the heads of more key characters. This is a story of love, espionage, mystery and a little murder too.

Charlie, Brook, Aron, and Max all have POV's in this one although Charlie is the only 1st person. And there's romance and lots of it! *swoon!*

Rather than base the book around keeping Angelina safe, as the Pledge was, the Essence delves into the history behind Sabara and her Essence which now lives inside Charlie. Sometimes this is spooky, sometimes I wondered how Charlie was still sane. She's a tough girl.

Max *swoon!* and Charlie! As a couple they really come out of the pages with this wonderful love affair. There may be a few hiccups on the way, it isn't all plain sailing by any means, but they really do have a beautiful love.

Lots of mystery, a kidnapping, a mysterious assassin, Florence (who's a man), Avonlea who is named by Charlie, and the Scablands. Many new characters to get your teeth into to love or detest. A great backdrop of dystopian nastiness.

The Queens! Got to love them. All so quirky but full of character and frivolity!

Not really much to Con about. Maybe wish it was longer?

Note: The ending all pulls to the next book. Not so much of a cliffhanger, more of a 'and in the next episode...'

Available from Amazon:

CB Note to readers: This is a new type of review I'm starting aimed to get to the point and exclude waffle. Points are easier to read. If you prefer this than the usual review please let me know!

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